A lot of opinions have been offered since it was announced last week that the Walt Disney Company had bought up Lucasfilm and are in the process of making a seventh Star Wars, and now the Uber-geek, filmmaker and superfan Kevin Smith, is *ahem* weighing in on the issue in a fun and rather touching op-ed in the trade magazine, Hollywood Reporter.
Like most things from Kevin Smith, his editorial is set in New Jersey, but back in an ancient time before the invention of VCRs when, “playing with Star Wars figures was about the closest a fan could get to seeing the movie again until it was rereleased in theaters.” Enter into this innocent age a young man named Peter King. He and Smith became fast friends through the bonding power of Star Wars toys.
Every summer day from 1978 to 1982, you could find me and Pete in his tiny yard, building a new Hoth or Tatooine, brushing ants off our bodies as we laid belly down in the dirt, making Luke Skywalker repeatedly kiss a girl who turned out to be his sister right before they swing from dental floss over the heads of stiff-armed Stormtroopers. It shaped me as a storyteller and as a person (you can’t save the galaxy all day long without lots of junk-food consumption).
Fat jokes aside, Smith goes on to explain that out of this regular playdate came the most awesome Star Wars story that he and Pete could ever conceive of; a dizzying mix of Quantum Leap and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Space…
The best story (and the only one outside of the movie canon that we’d repeatedly play) wasn’t about Luke and Leia: It was about inexplicable fan-fave Boba Fett — the intergalactic bounty hunter who brings a carbonite-frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt. The plot of our backyard adventure: Boba Fett gets trapped by robotic gunslinger IG-88 in a Star Wars universe time loop, sending him through all the movies as well as moments only referenced in the flicks. In some eras, he’s a hero — even getting to kiss Princess Leia instead of Luke (this was before Return of the Jedi made ‘em relatives). Other times when the chrono-belt pulled him into another era, Fett’s the villain he’s always known as in the flicks. The time-travel plot allowed us to touch on the well-told stories of the movies we so adored, but it also gave us a chance to mash ‘em up with the funkier flights-of-fancy Pete and I would manufacture.
Sadly, the friends grew apart as they grew up, and shortly after the release of Smith’s breakthrough film Clerks in 1994, the director got some terrible news, his old friend and co-adventurer through time and Star Wars, Pete, had been hit by a car in Manhattan and killed. As Smith explains, it was to Pete his first thoughts went after he heard the Disney/Star Wars news.
Not a summer goes by when I don’t think about Pete or our ongoing saga of Boba Fett lost in time. So when I heard about Disney’s $4 billion Lucasfilm acquisition, naturally I had a brief, one-sided conversation with my former best friend.
“We might finally get to see that Fett flick we always dreamed about, Pete,” I said aloud at my desk after I read the news.
So in conclusion:
So in a world where Disney needs to make back its investment, we indeed might see an all-Boba Fett film. And if the Force wills it, maybe it’ll even be about Boba Fett lost in the Star Wars universe time stream. But even if it became the highest-grossing film of all time, it’d still never be as good as Pete King’s version.
How about you Bastards? Wanna go back in time with Boba Fett?